A Charger for Every Co-op
In 2018, Dairyland Power Cooperative offered each of its 24 local member distribution cooperatives a Level 2 electric vehicle charger as part of its overall incentive program.
Initiatives to install more chargers along major highways are helping alleviate “range anxiety” (fear of being stranded with a dead battery because the distance to your destination is beyond the range of your battery’s charge). The greater distances between destinations in rural areas is a common reason why many electric cooperative members hesitate to own an EV. Local electric cooperatives are a driving force to ensure new technology is not limited to more densely populated metropolitan areas. The availability of chargers at each local electric cooperative creates awareness about EVs and expose members to the possibilities of the technology.
Level 2 chargers add about 20 miles of range for every hour of charge. While that's not fast, the program will promote EV travel between member cooperatives and enhance awareness for their consumer-members.
Consumers may qualify for a federal tax credit up to $7,500 when they purchase an EV, and – in 2019 – a $200 rebate from their local electric cooperative’s incentive program toward the purchase and installation of a charging station at their home. They should also talk to their cooperative about the possibility of receiving a reduced (off-peak) electricity rate for enrollment in a load management program. Load management allows the cooperative to shift vehicle charging to the times when electricity is less expensive (usually evening and overnight).
|Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) EV Guide|
|EV Overview (Touchstone Energy)|
|Is an EV Right For Me? (Touchstone Energy)|
Consumer-members interested in furthering their commitment to “go green,” can also request to be enrolled in the electric cooperatives’ green power program. Evergreen Everywhere participants can offset their vehicle charging use with four 100 kWh blocks of renewable energy each month.
Other regional highlights include:
- Barron Electric (Barron, Wis.) was the first of Dairyland’s member cooperatives to install a charger at their main office. Director of Member Services Jennifer Beaudette said the charger was being used within two hours of installation by an EV owner on their way to their cabin.
- Barron has also hosted Member Ride & Drive events where members can test-drive the Cooperative’s Chevrolet Bolt.
- On Sept. 6, 2018, the first fast charger in western Wisconsin was dedicated at Ground Round in Tomah (Oakdale Electric's service territory). The unit is part of a ZEF Energy charging hub, which allows three EVs to charge at the same time. The station includes one DC fast charger and two Level 2 chargers. The DC fast charger provides 200 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in; the Level 2 chargers provide 25 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in.
- During National Cooperative Month (October), St. Croix Electric (Hammond, Wis.) hosted a drawing for a member to take home the Cooperative’s Chevrolet Bolt for a weekend to test drive.
- Jackson Electric (Black River Falls, Wis.) opted to install their Level 2 EV at the Ho-Chunk Gaming Casino.